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How To Promote Your Virtual Event In 2021

It is no secret that the global pandemic left many industries devastated, with many still reeling from the shock. With mass cancellation of corporate events and strict social distancing rules, many brands have embraced the idea of holding virtual and online events as a way to engage with their audiences during the lockdown. 
However, when it comes to planning an online event, it isn’t all fun and games. 
Developing an online strategy, promoting the event, and hosting a live audience have their own challenges. Specific advertising techniques are required to guarantee that your online event is being marketed to everyone who might be potentially interested in it.
The good news is that it is possible to ensure that your promotion and advertising efforts don’t get lost in the digital shuffle.
Here are a few ways to get your attendees to sign up and tune in for your event or webinar, making it a success:

Create a marketing checklist

While you may want to try your hand at different strategies to reach your customers, don’t spread yourself too thin right at the planning stage. It is best to have a checklist in order before you embark on promoting your event. 
Make sure you have the following on your agenda:

  • Set the goals for your event – Do you want to attract new customers, increase brand awareness or improve your communication with your audience? 
  • Plan your content creation strategy –  With your event goals in mind, highlight what kind of content you want to market your event with? Maybe you want to focus on more video content, or perhaps you want to feature guest posts on competitor’s blogs. 
  • Create a marketing strategy – With your content plan in order, decide which platform you want to leverage for your event. This is also where you highlight your marketing tactics on multiple social media channels. 
  • Leverage the help of influencers for your social media marketing 
  • Execute last-minute promotion tactics 

Create an event listing on Google and Facebook

With new features like Facebook Events, this social media giant has become a multi-purpose platform for brands and consumers to engage in communities and have meaningful conversations.
Marketers should leverage the events page as a valuable tool to spread awareness of their upcoming events and attract new customers. Remember, almost 35 million people view public events on Facebook every day, and your target audiences could be among them.
Listing your event can help boost attendance to the event and help engage with customers and strengthen brand loyalty. 
To create a Facebook event, go to the Events option on your News Feed and click + Create Event on the left-hand side. Make sure you create a Public Event so everyone can view and search for it, even if they aren’t in your friends list or followers of your business page. 
Fill in your event name, date, time, and description, so people know what your event is about. Make sure that you use SEO-friendly keywords, so the Facebook algorithm can recommend it to people searching for similar events. 

Use Twitter to hype your events

Twitter is one of the leading platforms for trending events, live updates, and the latest news. Millions of people tweet every day, and almost 68% of the audience on Twitter are U.S. based, making Americans the largest consumer base on the platform. 
36% of Americans between the ages of 18-29 are regular Twitter users for trending events, while 12% of people use the platform for news updates. 
It makes sense for marketers and business owners to use this platform for hyping up their events. Twitter has high engagement rates, and easy retweets make it easier for brands to promote their content to a global audience.  

Develop a pre-event strategy

The best way to generate hype about your event is to promote it days in advance. Your marketing and design team should develop a pre-event strategy to gain the most re-tweets, likes and views. 
This is your chance to explain what your event is all about, what your audience will gain from it, and why it is worthwhile to attend. 
Since Twitter makes it easy for users to retweet posts easily, it’d be a good idea to create highly visual, shareable content to improve your reach. Develop a color strategy or use your brand template for all your designs so your content can stand out in a wave of the posts. 
Take a look at how brands are using Twitter to market their event: 

Create the perfect hashtag 

Work with your team to develop the perfect hashtag and include it in all of your tweets.
 Creating an engaging, creative hashtag can improve your event’s chances of trending a social media platform topic. Utilizing hashtags can make it easy for customers to participate in conversations and engage with brands. 
Remember, your hashtag should be smart and quirky but at the same time easy for your customers to remember. Most of all, relevance is vital, so make sure it relates to a popular trend. 
Here are a few examples:

  • #PutACanOnIt—Red Bull
  • #ShareaCoke—Coca Cola
  • #WantAnR8—Audi

Create attractive promotional material 

Create eye-catching promotional material and posts to ensure people notice your content among the endless dull, boring content on their newsfeeds. Here are a few ideas:

Email campaigns

In an era dominated by social media marketing, it is natural to think that emails are not as effective as a communication medium as they used to be. However, research shows that emails have an average open rate of 22.86%, which means that they are most likely to reach people they’re intended for. 
Brands that use email marketing to promote their events find that these are a great way of informing customers about the latest news, offers, and promotions. 
The best part about these campaigns is that every email can be customized for your customers, providing a personalized experience for each one of them. 
Use interactive content such as a quiz or poll and use attractive design templates to grab attention. With various online tools and software such as PosterMyWall, you can create professional social media and webinar flyer templates without an expensive graphic designer. 
However, make sure that you don’t bombard inboxes, or your emails might end up in the junk folder.

Give a sneak peek of your event 

Have you ever been excited to watch a movie trailer that’s going to be released soon? In the same way that a short snippet of a movie can excite viewers, a sneak peek of your event can show your audience what they can expect. 
Pique interest with behind-the-scenes content and exciting interview segments from your keynote speakers. 
Here are a few exciting ideas you can use to promote your event:

  • Open up your event app or post a ‘limited time’ content on your website that gives a preview of all the exciting stuff for the event
  • Ask keynote speakers to post about the event, and share a few exciting highlights
  • Use the footage from your previous events to promote your upcoming event
  • Set up an interactive pre-event game in your app

However, make sure that you aren’t giving everything away in the preview! Space out your video clips, and post content after short periods so that people can keep running to your website for additional information and more engagement.

Make a video or a vlog

The demand for video content is rising rapidly, with 85% of all internet users watch videos on their smart devices almost every-day.  Videos can communicate your marketing message and engage audiences right until the end. They are certainly more entertaining than blogs and press releases.
A two-minute video clip is a perfect length of time for engagement. It conveys enough information for viewers to easily retain it without being too over-powering. You can create Instagram Reels and short YouTube videos showcasing your webinar. 
Using different effects, music and the countdown feature, brands can use Instagram Reels to create user-generated content as a product review. You can use images that customers take with your products and upload them as a short video! Additionally, you can create educational content, short Q/A sessions and ‘How to’ videos on your YouTube Channel.
Make your videos fun and interactive by including special discounts at the end of the video to boost your sign-up rate. Don’t forget to add in all your social media buttons and hashtags, so it is easy for people to find you on multiple channels. 

To conclude

Planning, promoting, and hosting an online event takes time and patience, but the result is worth the effort if you invest your resources in the right places. 
As long as you know the latest marketing trends and engage audiences with attention-grabbing content, you can be sure to attract a mass audience and boost your online presence with a successful virtual event.